Would removing my spleen help my white blood cell count?

3 answers | Last updated: Oct 25, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

If I have my spleen removed, will it increase my white blood cell count?


Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Spleens are really like large lymph node, which means they remove old red blood cells and platelets from the blood, and can help detect and fight against certain bactaeria. Splenectomy (or removal of the spleen) is usually done when hte spleen becomes enlarged or is injured in a traumatic accident, as the worry is that it can rupture. Sometimes is can be removed to help diagnose lymphomas, or to help autoimmune diseases, but this is less frequent.

If your white blood count is low, the most common causes for that include viral infections, cancer, drug side effects, or blood disorders. White blood cells are made in the bone marrow, so it is not usually a problem with the spleen. My guess would be that a splenectomy would not improve your white blood count, unless it would be to find a diagnosis as to why your counts are low.

I would recommened that you see a hemotologist to get your low white count worked up to find the cause. Good luck!


Community Answers

A fellow caregiver answered...

I AM LOOKING FOR A ANSWER BECAUSE I HAVE A LOW WHITE BLOOD CELL COUNT 2.1


A fellow caregiver answered...

There is a condition called hypersplenism, this is where the spleen destroys blood cells quicker than they can be produced in some patients. Whether this is autoimmune or another condition should be left up to the hematologist. I have had this question on my mind for over 8 years. I am just afraid of removing my spleen for nothing and putting myself at greater risk.